TopTenREVIEWS - Bronze Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set

Constant Contact email combines your email campaigns and your social networking efforts into one easy-to-use service. This email marketing service is our TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award winner because it offers more than 400 templates and the option to insert your own HTML code. Constant Contact email also has additional features such as video links, blog content, images, surveys and more that enable your customers to interact with your newsletters and messages.

Feature Set
Compare
9.4/10
iContact
Benchmark Email
Constant Contact
Pinpointe
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Mailigen
Vertical Response
Mad Mimi
GraphicMail
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10
9.4
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When you're ready to create email campaigns, Constant Contact provides a variety of templates you can customize. You can also start with a blank template. You can work in the Designer mode, or if you'd rather, you can interact directly with XHTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). However, you are able to copy and paste your own HTML source code into your template-based emails.

You can change the font and color of the text and backgrounds. You can use the Constant Contact WordPress plug-in if you have a blog instead of a website. You can also add links, coupons, images, embed videos and more.

Constant Contact email marketing provides social media buttons for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yelp, Flickr, Blog and YouTube. Once you have an account from this email marketing service, you can access the Join My List Facebook app. This app is from Constant Contact email marketing. It gives customers the option to sign up for your special marketing emails while they're on your Facebook Fan Page. This email marketing service also comes with purchase buttons for PayPal and Amazon.

Another nice feature Constant Contact offers is the ability to change the From line on the email. If you have a special message from the CEO, you can alter the From field to reflect that instead of creating a new account for the CEO. Constant Contact email marketing reminds you on its website that the sender's name is important because people look to see who has sent the email. If they don't recognize the name of the sender, they're more likely to delete the email without opening it.

You can control the bounce and unsubscribe options to better monitor which emails aren't arriving in your customers' inboxes and who is unsubscribing. Constant Contact allows you to access each individual subscriber's contact information from different computers at any time. You can also monitor who has received and opened your emails, view metrics for contact list growth and attrition, and see the overall effectiveness of your email marketing campaign.

Customer feedback is an essential element to any successful campaign, so we are disappointed that Constant Contact email marketing charges an additional monthly fee to send surveys. The company also puts a 5,000-response cap per month on your account.

Email Campaign Creation
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8.8/10
iContact
Benchmark Email
Constant Contact
Pinpointe
GetResponse
Mailigen
Vertical Response
Mad Mimi
GraphicMail
Campaigner
10
9.4
8.8
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This email marketing service makes it easy to create an email campaign. We were impressed with the large selection of designer templates that come in a wide variety of layouts, colors and patterns. Remember that although these are templates, you have the freedom to move text blocks around and adjust other design features. You can insert an assortment of extra features, including images, documents and links to surveys, polls, videos and more. You can also import images and text directly into the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor or take advantage of the drag-and-drop functionality to create and edit each section of your message.

Campaign Reporting
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8.1/10
iContact
Benchmark Email
Constant Contact
Pinpointe
GetResponse
Mailigen
Vertical Response
Mad Mimi
GraphicMail
Campaigner
9.4
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Constant Contact email marketing provides all the necessities for creating comprehensive reports on email campaigns, including bounces (number and percentage), complaints, opt-outs, click-through rates (number and percentage), forwards and more. The addition of a social-share toolbar and individual social media buttons for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn should increase traffic to your site.

Social Stats reporting tools clearly illustrate the number of Facebook shares and likes, tweets from Twitter and more that your messages receive. You can also see the number of total social shares and page views your email campaign has generated. Although we are impressed with the social-media-reporting tools, we are disappointed that this email marketing services does not include robust conversion tracking and email replies. It also neglects to offer Google Analytics reports.

Ease of Use
Compare
8.8/10
iContact
Benchmark Email
Constant Contact
Pinpointe
GetResponse
Mailigen
Vertical Response
Mad Mimi
GraphicMail
Campaigner
10
10
8.8
8.8
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8.5
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7.5

Constant Contact has created an email marketing service that is intuitive and easy to use for all skill levels. This email marketing service breaks down its email campaign set-up process into three easy steps: "Create the look, select your audience, then schedule and send." To create the look, you are able to scroll through hundreds of design templates or create your own. In these three steps, you can create an email campaign that is perfect for announcing special events, sales and more. The only downside to the templates is that you can change only one section of the template at a time.

Setting up an email contact list is also easy to do. Before adding any contacts, however, Constant Contact email requires that you agree to its terms and conditions, which state that you must have permission from recipients before sending them an email or newsletter.

You can add customers to the list by pasting them in, typing in their email addresses and information or importing that information from an Excel, TXT or CSV spreadsheet. You can also import contacts from your Gmail address book or download them from Microsoft Outlook. You can customize the various contact fields so that, when the time comes, you can simply select a group or demographic to receive your email campaign.

The basic navigation of Constant Contact email is much like other email marketing services. The options are at the top of the screen and consist of different tabs for adding and maintaining your contact list, creating an email, monitoring reports and so on.

Help & Support
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8.8/10
iContact
Benchmark Email
Constant Contact
Pinpointe
GetResponse
Mailigen
Vertical Response
Mad Mimi
GraphicMail
Campaigner
9.4
10
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8
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Constant Contact email has a comprehensive help and support center that includes an extensive, searchable knowledge base and a learning center with helpful tutorials. You'll also find FAQs, a user manual, a blog, user forums, recorded demos and webinars. If you need further help or tech support, you can reach Constant Contact directly by email or phone. This email marketing service also has live chat support. We accessed this feature several times and received great customer service, but we had to wait a painfully long time in the chat queue before a representative answered our questions.

Constant Contact Summary:
8.8/10

Constant Contact email marketing is relatively easy to use and helps you create and monitor effective email campaigns. The templates are professional and the editor allows you to customize your designs, no matter your skill level. It would be nice to have additional email campaign reporting options, and we are disappointed that there is an additional monthly charge for preparing and sending surveys. Most other companies include this feature with their email marketing service.

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Constant Contact

Pros
You can use Cascading Style Sheets, Designer mode or XHTML to create your marketing pieces.

Cons
Constant Contact emails don't directly provide Google Analytic reports.

The Verdict
: 8.82/10

Constant Contact offers hundreds of templates, an intuitive interface and comprehensive tech support.